Oh hi friend, just popping up for air between homeschooling and well, I guess I’m not getting air because the entire west coast is on fire and the air quality is some of the worst in the world. Did you hear that the presidential election is now less than 50 days away. Have you registered to vote? Ensured you’ll receive your mail-in ballot? Have a voting plan? CLICK HERE if not.

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards

But I digress. As you might have seen last week, I have new project that is distracting me from impending doom – the Hood Canal Coastal Cottage and I have been diving deeeeep in design this past week as our timeline to get this baby done is mega short. Like six weeks short. But I’ll dig into all those details once we actually close and I can walk you through everything.

For now, let’s have a convo about bedrooms, shall we? We spend a lot of time in them right? I tend to work from mine late into the wee hours. One of the biggest trouble spots I’m running into with the Coastal Cottage are the bedrooms. I think bedrooms are my achilles heel (as was evidenced by our guest room in This Old Victorian. And the main bedroom. But who’s counting.) It just feels impossible to come up with something that seems interesting (without resorting to majorly expensive finishes or design elements and we are on a budget here people! More on that discussion to come as well).

Living spaces are my jam. I can walk into any type of living space and visualize what it needs almost instantly. Maybe it’s because bedrooms are usually just a box, and often a pretty small one that limits my thinking. I just have the hardest time coming up with innovative solutions for bedroom design. But one idea has been catching my eye in all my late-night scrolling – so much so that I just had to whip up this post for you.

My latest Idea to Steal (and the one I’m trying to convince the husband to let me do in the Coastal Cottage) is wall-to-wall headboards.

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34

You might also call this look a bed ledge. The utility of wall-to-wall headboards are endless. It’s an easy way to inject another color, wood tone or texture to your bedroom. You can also use the wall-to-wall headboard to house bedside tables and lighting, saving floor space and keeping things minimal.

But I also love that the bed ledge offers the perfect spot to display pieces you love. From artwork to plants, vases or ceramics – you have a spot to add life and personality to your space without adding additional furniture to your room.

The challenge is with the wall-to-wall headboard is actually creating one. This isn’t an off the shelf solution. You’ll likely need to employ a carpenter or be very industrious with your DIYs to create something that works. I’ve seen very simple pine and even particle board versions that don’t seem too intimidating. But slatted wall-to-wall headboards or versions with more design detail could require a pro. I would argue the investment is worth it.

How about you? Maybe if this post gets enough comments, my husband will be convinced!

For our entire Idea to Steal archive CLICK HERE.

images the local project / leibalstudiomk27 / barnabylane, cultiver

Hi friends. So sorry to go completely MIA on you. Between attempting online school with a five-year-old, much of California burning to the ground, and the general state total chaos in which we find ourselves, getting to the computer for any length of time has been a bit of challenge, to put it mildly. And then I blinked and summer is officially over.

But I had to finally get on here as I have big news for you!

They say you shouldn’t make major life decisions during times of extreme stress, right? Well, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and instead have purchased a coastal cottage in Washington State! Apparently a global pandemic, homeschooling a kindergartner and the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime wasn’t enough to keep me busy.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

In all seriousness, if the past seven months of Covid have taught us anything, it’s the importance of friends and family and so we decided to create a gathering place that can bring together those we love most for years to come. Nestled within the myriad of inlets and islands that dot the Puget Sound north of Seattle, the cottage enjoys sweeping views of the Olympic mountains and Hood Canal. I consider it my official respite from the impending doom. Sadly it looks nothing like the inspiration images I’ve collected here.

Instead, it is going to take a LOT of work to get our little coastal cottage visitor ready – and in a very short period of time. Over the coming weeks, I plan to take you along on the entire design journey. I will be sharing everything with you – from the cottage’s current state, to all of my design inspiration and through the remodel process. If all goes according to plan, I’ll share a major before and after reveal in time to spend the holiday season with our family rather than more than 800 miles away.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

Trust me, we’re going to have plenty to discuss, as I have to pick an entire household’s worth of things – from paint colors and kitchen cabinets down to dishware, bedding and everything in between. No design decision will be left unturned. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly daunting. These mood boards are just part my first ideation session for my dream vibe.

I’m hopeful sharing this process with you will offer you some fresh design ideas and positive inspiration as we all hunker down to weather what will undoubtedly be a stormy fall – be it literally or just politically. It’s been a rather dark year and I feel like this might be a way to share a little bit of light. I know I am very happy for the creative distraction. I hope you are too.

I can’t wait to share more very soon!

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

 

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

 

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

A design trend has slowly been creeping into my consciousness of late, but the look has officially taken on must-have status. I need a pleated lampshade in my life! It is my latest Idea to Steal.

Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34

Be they pendants, floor lamps, or for the table, a light with a pleated shade is suddenly feeling rather chic. A pleated lampshade is a great way to add more interest and texture to space. While I’ve seen them in a myriad of colors, I do prefer a crisp white option with a knife pleat.

The secret to keeping the look from going too “grandma” is pairing a pleated shade with a fixture that has a modern feel. Think of a simple cord pendant, an elegant minimal floor lamp, or a modern ceramic lamp.

Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34 Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34

There are a number of gorgeous vintage pleated lamps out there. The Mads Caprani Arc Floor from the 1970s is definitely having a moment. There are also many sites that sell vintage lamps from Scandinavia. They can be from the 1940’s all the way through mid-century. One of my go-to resources for v is Counter Space in LA. I’m currently coveting the pleated table lamp by Hay design. It’s actually the primary design inspiration for the Apartment 34 studio design – but that story is still to come!

 

Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34Pleated lampshade on Apartment 34

What do you think of the pleated lampshade trend? Do you have one in your house yet?

For more theft-worthy design ideas, CLICK HERE.

 

 

images via curated spaces / the dreslyn / h&m home / 1st dibs / curated spaces / 20modern / sarah nedovic / finnish design shop

 

 

 

It is often hard to stay inspired during this difficult time. Things can look bleak – whether you’re reading the news or braving the world outside of your home. San Francisco has lost its charm during the pandemic. Streets are deserted. Businesses are boarded up and graffitied. All the cultural vitality that draws one to a city like this is canceled. If if we wanted to go somewhere….there’s no nowhere to go.

And so we turn inward. Back towards home. If you’ve been looking to scratch a creative itch, this post is for you.

Stay Home Inspo: Colin King on Apt34

As this pandemic has continued, I’ve been sharing #StayHomeInspo on Instagram – a respite for the eyes and inspiration for design ideas and creative projects we can do in our own homes to boost our spirits. One of my primary resources of inspiration has been stylist and photographer Colin King. I discovered Colin’s work on Instagram and have been following his creative journey every since – as he styles editorials ranging from corporate clients like Zara Home, to homes that grace the cover of Architectural Digest. As part of his own #StayHomeInspo journey, Colin started his own hashtag – #StayHomeStillLife chronicling his Covid creative outlet – creating stunning still life vignettes in his Manhattan apartment during New York City’s lockdown. I looked forward to a new image from Colin every day and even though he’s back to work outside his home, I still do.

Colin was gracious enough to share some of his creative tips and tricks with Apt34 today. I hope you find his insights as inspiring as I do.

Q: How did you get started, especially doing still life work? Did you have a mentor? Study something? Or just start experimenting?

A: I’m really good at doing, and not so good at being. Out of all of the careers I’ve had, none of them afforded me the flexibility to work from home. So in an attempt to cope and self soothe, I quickly found comfort in creating still lifes at home. My apartment is small, and there are only so many combinations when it comes to rearranging furniture, so I was forced to think small. It started organically shopping at my favorite decor shop (and the only one that was open) – nature. Foraging quickly led me to taking unrelated, inanimate objects, fruit, and anything else I could find around the house; placing all of that on a clean surface and trying to find an arrangement that felt poetic. The act of creating these still lifes gave me a schedule and presented a challenging, healthy way for me to step away from my screen, disconnect from fear and worry, and just be.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: What would you say are the key components of a captivating still life?

A: For me there are three key components of a captivating still life.

Each still life I create, my goal is to conjure the feeling of being a tourist in someone else’s reality. I never want any of my photos to feel as though you’re on a set or that the elements were contrived specifically for the photo. For example, when I am at a museum or even in someone’s home for an editorial shoot, I am always noting the forgotten corners, the stanchions, the coat rack, the half-drawn closet curtain; these are the places where there was no thought or extra care given to the placement of things – it’s just where everything naturally fell. Every captivating image I’ve seen has this almost eerie element of a human having just been there moving about unapologetically, and what’s left is unstyled but perfectly settled. Ultimately, creating a moment that seems more unearthed than contrived.

When approaching my still life I let go of the practical, intended use of each object. To me, a vase isn’t a vase and a fork isn’t a fork – they’re just things with their own materiality and form. I love it when I see an image and don’t even realize what the objects are until examining closer. Whether it’s upside down, balancing on its side, or completely submerged in a glass of water, there is an irreverence with a nod to surrealism that I love.

Lastly, light. Finding the depth between and beyond the surface the objects are on and how they relate to each other is key. Not only do I want to feel the dimensionality of the image, I also want to use objects that absorb light, reflect light, and bend light arranging them in a poetic display to generate an unexpected conversation.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Are there any tricks of the trade you regularly rely on (tools, adhesives etc)?

A: No tricks. Just patience and a good playlist. I’ve never used a tool or an adhesive, I recognize I have so much to learn but right now I am having fun shattering glasses, chipping ceramics, cursing under my breath, and the freedom that comes with not being bound by any way of doing it. And music has always been a part of my process. As a trained dancer, music brings me a sense of comfort, routine and ritual while keeping me in the present moment.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Your photography is also amazing. The way you use light is incredible. Are you self taught? Do you only use your phone and if so what do you use to edit your photos?

A: Aw, thank you. I am completely self-taught and I only use my iPhone. I just looked and I have 143,885 images on my phone. For each still life I create, or any image really, I take anywhere from 20-40 images per set up. It’s practice. it’s repetition, it’s trial and error. It’s like going to the gym and working out. Taking photos is a muscle I’ve been working on since I first got a camera phone in college. I use VSCO and Snapseed to manipulate shadows, contrast, and perspective. We’re all learning from each other. I look to photographers and other creatives I admire and dissect their images, find what I like about them, and then tinker with my own.

I had to let go of the concept that there was the perfect preset or formula for any of my work. No one was going to share a map or rulebook with me, and through a lot of trial and error, I learned that I can’t think my way into being a good photographer or stylist – it’s in the action. I have to use my hands to pick up something tactile – a book to sift through or a couple of objects to arrange. From there I just play, sometimes it’s there and sometimes, I walk away. I get myself into trouble when I wait for inspiration to hit, I have to get up and find it.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q:You have a very distinct look. I can recognize your work a mile away. How did you go about cultivating that?

A: Intuition has always been my leader in life. I didn’t know I was cultivating a look – I just kept taking photos of what I liked and using the limited resources I had. Although the aesthetic strands running through my work are pretty consistent, the influences feeding into the design process are typically eclectic and even the most unlikely of subjects can provide food for thought. Simplicity and finding beauty in the mundane interested me. At first, my minimal sensibility came from not having a large portfolio or a lot of pieces to work with. And ultimately, I’ve always admired the edited life – less color, less clutter, and fewer things sustained by purposeful restraint.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Where do you turn for creative inspiration?

A: I draw my inspiration from other people. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who have something that I want; and challenge me to be more honest, take more risks, and ultimately how to not fear failure. I am energized and encouraged by other people’s victories; the immense joy I get from watching peers succeed gives me hope that I too, can achieve anything I put my mind to.

I am also very inspired by nature – I am in constant awe of what it produces. Nature has a way of humbling me and is a great reminder to abandon the idea of perfect – nothing about nature is linear or symmetrical and nothing is immune to decay.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: What about your work brings you joy?

A: I get to tell stories for a living and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I get to connect with people and help create a context for the intimate rituals of peoples’ lives. And I also get to surrender to the subjectivity of what I do and knowing that the narrative I’ve created will be interpreted differently by each viewer – it challenges me to be vulnerable in a way – it’s all part of being a creative – and I feel grateful to be able to make a living by being creative.

Also, objects that have been given to me or are inherited from a shoot or trip, bring me joy. The handmade pieces in my place, knowing the story and process of the artist brings me joy as well. Ultimately, the smallest object can embody an entire relationship or single experience; they’re tied integrally to memories and can shape the identity of the room.

Q: Your career has been taking off of late. Where do you hope to be in five years?

A: This time has presented irrefutable evidence that I don’t have the power to know where I will be in 5 years. Doing the best at this moment puts me in the best place for the next moment. The saying Time takes time has always been a hard pill for me to swallow, I spent so much of my life wanting to be the fastest, youngest, and the best at everything I did but these unrealistic expectations only brought me pain. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Surrendering to the idea that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, going through exactly what I need to be going through, AND being content with that is where I hope to be in 5 years. I am learning that the most important relationship I have is with myself. When that relationship is strong I am a better son, brother, friend, employee and partner.

Colin you are wise beyond your years and talented beyond belief. Thanks to you I’m going to continue to try to improve my foraging skills! f you find Colin as truly inspirational as I do, I hope you’ll give him a follow on Instagram.

What are you doing to stay inspired during this weird time??

For more Stay Home Inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of Colin King

yard makeover on apartment 34

If you followed this little ole’ blog nearly eight months ago, you may recall that I started yet another project at This Old Victorian. This time it was tackling a major yard makeover. Thankfully, the massive project’s (near!) completion came in the nick of time. Since shelter-in-place began, we’ve relied on our yard daily. I’m hoping to give you a detailed tour of the entire space and a recap of our whole design process very very soon. The transformation is just as dramatic as our interiors. If you’re feeling impatient – or need something to fill up your SIP hours – definitely check out the before tour of the yard on my IGTV.

Obviously our outdoor spaces are critical now more than ever. No matter if you have a postage-stamp-sized patio or an expansive backyard oasis, you want to make sure it’s living up to its full potential. Since I’m not at liberty fully reveal our yard design juuussst yet, I thought I’d at least offer some inspiration in the form of all my favorite pieces for outdoor spaces. From seating and long-lasting outdoor cushions, to accessories like fire pits and planters, outdoor pizza ovens and lawn games, now is the time to invest in getting your yard in tip top shape.

I have a feeling we’re in for a loooong summer friends. Let’s make the best of it, shall we?

What yard projects are you currently working on??

 

For more outdoor space inspiration, CLICK HERE.

landscape design and construction by Beth Mullins of Grows Green Landscape Design, photo by moi

foraging on apartment 34

As virtually the entire world spends 24/7 in our homes, it’s certainly forced many of us to reexamine our spaces – how we use them, how we maximize them, and how we beautify them. Myself included. Now more than ever before our spaces need to be our respite, sanctuary, and refuge from the stresses of the outside world.

I’ve always loved to have fresh flowers in the house, but with florist shops shuttered and even the flower markets closed, it’s nearly impossible to come by fresh blooms unless you’re lucky enough to have quite the flower garden. Sadly I do not. Enter foraging.

Foraging has long been florists’, stylists’, and interior designers’ secret weapon. In fact, one of my favorite florists Louesa Roebuck wrote an entire book about it called Foraged Flora. When you use something foraged – usually branches of one variety or another – you not only bring life into a space, but you also add an interesting geometric, architectural shape to any vignette. Foraged branches can work on both large or extremely small scales and be placed virtually anywhere. The dining room table, the mantel, the kitchen counter, bedside, or in a bathroom. There truly are no limits. I’ve included a variety of examples of gorgeously foraged branches as you continue to scroll.

foraging on apartment 34 foraging on apartment 34

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to foraging, there are some general guidelines to abide by. Here are my top foraging tips:

    • First and foremost, do you not clip from private property (unless it is your own of course!). Public parks are also generally a no-no. Look for alleys, open lots, public lands and forested trails.
    • When you find a publicly available space from which to clip, do so gently. You don’t want it to be immediately obvious that you removed something and you certainly don’t want to harm the plant.
    • Do clip a little big larger than you think you’ll want. You’ll most likely trim down your clippings upon returning home so you want to make sure you start out with a bit extra.
    • There’s no right or wrong plant variety to clip, but some popular choices include flowering quince, magnolia, dogwood, and olive branches are perennial favorites.
    • Trim up the ends before you put your clippings in water & change water daily. You should get up to two weeks of life out of them this way.

foraging on apartment 34foraging on apartment 34foraging on apartment 34foraging on apartment 34

Now it certainly helps if you live near wooded areas to be a successful forager, but you can get creative. These days I’m making it a rule to always have my clippers with me and my eyes peeled for a good little moment – even on my once-every-two-weeks trip to the grocery store.

My friend and famed interior designer Athena Calderone has become kind of the foraging guru. She recently created a quick video all about foraging, which you can watch right here

What do you think of this trend? Will you be packing your clippers on your next walk?

 

images colin king | design constanze ladner photography renee kemps | design athena calderone photography nicole franzen | design nate berkus & jeremiah brent photography nicole franzen | design constanze ladner photography renee kemps | design jasmin johnson | zara home /  design athena calderone styling colin king photography mathew williams | design athena calderone 

If you don’t follow Apartment 34 on Instagram, than you might have missed the exciting announcement that official This Old Victorian – aka my five year renovation saga – is about to come its close. Domino Magazine announced its first ever Renovation Issue and I’m thrilled to announce that office tour of our house is included. If you want your first sneak peak into the our before & afters (and they’re rather dramatic), click here.

But I think once you try your hand at renovations, you catch the bug. And so I’m already designing my fictional future dream house in my hand. And I think I already found my dream kitchen.

This epic kitchen is another product of design savant Amber Interiors. She has figured out the magic mix of California casual, old world grandeur, and what I like to call elevated rustic style that combine to create warm, welcoming but also dramatic spaces.

Obviously, the architecture of this space lends itself to its awesome dramatic feel, not to mention all that stunning natural light. But that is probably one of my biggest leanings from our renovation – that a space’s bones are everything. If you happen upon some a home with some good architecture, jump on it! You can be confident that even the ugliest of toads can be transformed.

The use of various both refined and rustic materials offers really beautiful juxtaposition in this kitchen. Honed Calacatta marble counters and backsplash feel sleek and fancy. But then the reclaimed French limestone looks as if you could be in a farmhouse in Burgundy. The mix and match continues with smooth plasters walls abutting a white brick pizza oven. Brass hardware offsets the custom white oak cabinetry, but the cup drawer pulls reinforce the more country, rustic feel. Finally, a rustic beam holds residence above a sophisticated Lacance range. Yet it all works.

This space would feel fitting should it be in middle of wine country, in Europe or in downtown LA. In fact it resides in Malibu, CA but you certainly wouldn’t say it has a beachy feel.

I love how Amber switched the far counter’s top to a dark limestone to anchor the space and mirror the dark range across the room.

If I could get my hands on this space I might have thickened the countertops (I still love that fat look), selected more modern cabinetry hardware and swapped out the antique pendant lights for something more minimalist and refined. But that’s fun thing with renovating. Once you get to play with the details, you just want to play more and more and more and more.

Good thing I have my yard project to keep me busy at the moment, because I’d be rather tempted to start housing hunting again! Don’t tell my hubs.

design by amber interiors, photography by tess neustadt 

It’s been rather quiet on the blog of late, but that’s only because things have been nonstop IRL. You know, that whole big offline world. I’m thrilled to announce I’ve photographed the official before and after reveal of This Old Victorian with Domino! I couldn’t be more excited to finally give you the full, unedited tour of this five year renovation saga. But…..you’re going to have to wait until the end of the month for that.

But of course, I have not been resting on my laurels. Far from it. In fact over the past few months I’ve been tackling an entirely new project – renovating our yard! Back in August – how has time gone that quickly – I posted an impromptu tour of our existing yard on IGTV. Amazingly, more than 14,000 people watched and had very strong opinions on our plans! Well, today I wanted to finally catch you up on what’s actually going on.

Our house is blessed with a substantial yard. It’s basically the reason we bought the place. Outdoor space in the heart of San Francisco is incredibly rare. Having relocated from rainy Seattle, we always wanted to be able to enjoy the California indoor-outdoor lifestyle. But we inherited more of an urban jungle than an outdoor urban oasis. Sure, the mishmash of brick, succulents and random greenery was all lovely to look at, but it was not really usable, pre-schooler friendly, nor did it capture yard’s full potential (head to Instagram to see the before tour).

Thankfully, I found landscape architect Beth Mullins of Beth Grows Green who has worked with us for nearly a year to create the ultimate dream design. It will offer us gardens, greenery, a major entertaining area – even a mini Apartment 34 studio! We are going to be maximizing every square inch. The images in this post gives you a sense of our design direction (do you want to see the actual details?? Let me know!).

I have three main objectives for our makeover – optimize the available space, keep things low maintenance and ensure we have a climate appropriate garden. You won’t find any perfectly manicured lawn here. To that end, Beth’s yard design plays the elegance of our Italianate’s exterior against more modern architectural features like cantilevered benches, exposed concrete and minimalist planter beds.

I also need a yard that works hard. The weather in San Francisco, while mild, is not forgiving. From salty sea winds, beating sun, storms and climate change, everything has to stand the test of time. Thankfully, I’ve found Sunbrella – the ultimate outdoor fabric that gives me the style I’m looking for and the durability I need.

Even though we’re weeks away from finishing the hardscape, I can’t help but already start accessorizing in my mind. To continue the modern + timeless vibe, I’ve zeroed in on outdoor furniture from Room & Board with custom cushions by Sunbrella. I’m staying true to my go-to color palette of course. Think neutrals, neutrals and more neutrals. I cannot wait to be able to sit back on a warm afternoon on my Montego Chaise with a comfy Sunbrella cushion. I’m currently debating white on white or a contrasting black. I have some time to hem and haw about that.

I’m also always a sucker for an Adirondack chair, so I’m loving the modern Emmet Rocker. I’m currently envisioning tone on tone Sunbrella cushions to serve as the perfect perch for my evening glass of wine. A strong palette of black and white furnishings will contrast beautifully with our southern Italy-inspired garden of olive trees, rosemary hedges, figs, palms and lemon trees.

Obviously, this is not a small undertaking. We’re already more than two months into the process with at least another two or three to go. But I’m loving our direction and I’m so excited to take you along on this outdoor adventure!

Let me know what you’d like to know as we go along.

 

This post is in partnership with Sunbrella. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

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